Hangzhou, capital of the Zhejiang province, is one of China’s most well-known tourist destinations. Its location, at the southern end of the famous Grand Canal, has ensured its fertility and importance through the generations, and the city is still a cultural center, surrounded by scenic farmland. Hangzhou travel has been popular for centuries, due to the many artistic and historic attractions, of which the West Lake is known as the foremost. Apart from the many things to do in Hangzhou China, the city is also popular for vacations due to its proximity to Shanghai and to Suzhou, destinations that typically feature on tours of China focused on the country's east coast.
The West Lake in Hangzhou China has been attracting visitors for centuries. It is a site of stunning natural beauty, and home to famous historical sites such as the Mausoleum of General Yue Fei, as well as sites of religious importance, such as the Ling Yin Temple. The Ten West Lake Prospects have been singled out to give visitors to the lake the best views of the water, mountains and monuments, ad it's a natural route to take for those on foot, as well as cyclists.
Walking around the lake is one of the top things to do in China, and when you’re tired of the outdoors, there are plenty of indoor Hangzhou attractions in this old provincial capital. The National Silk Museum competes with the silk museums and retail shopping spots in nearby Suzhou China. While you can buy the silks made here in the big cities like Shanghai and Beijing, or tourist spots such as Macau, it's not the same as watching the material be made right in front of your eyes. The National Tea Museum is also a favorite, providing a unique insight into the customs and age-old traditions of Chinese tea making.
Hangzhou is also famed for its sophisticated and elaborate regional dishes. While the city has a good selection of world-class restaurants in which to try these upmarket delicacies, there is also plenty of delicious budget food, to be picked up wherever you are on your journeys around the city. A typical Hangzhou China dish, for example, is Beggar’s Chicken—a whole chicken baked in clay, while around the lake is the best place to try the region’s famed fish in sweet sour sauce.
Hangzhou travel is especially popular as the city is so conveniently located in a province boasting great natural beauty, and only a day’s train journey from the commercial hub of Shanghai. While Hangzhou has made Zhejiang province famous for its tea and silk, the southern region is well-known for its stunning wilderness of timeless valleys and jutting mountain peaks. Meanwhile, if hiking isn’t your favorite past time, you can still enjoy the pristine landscape by heading to the peaceful Buddhist island of Putuoshan, also in the south of the province.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy Hangzhou travel is to take a trip from Shanghai, via Suzhou, to the city itself. This way, vacationers can enjoy the luxury of Shanghai hotels and major national attractions such as the Shanghai Museum, before enjoying the natural beauties of the Lingering Garden in Suzhuo, and the West Lake in Hangzhou.
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